According to a report in the Mirror yesterday, Sunderland have joined the race to sign Barnsley’s Tom Bradshaw. The 25-year-old ticks all the boxes for Chris Coleman - he’s a striker, and he’s a Welsh international.
The Black Cats are desperate for additional firepower after losing the club’s two senior strikers early in the January transfer window and Coleman admitted after Saturday’s defeat to Cardiff that he simply must bring in a forward ahead of next weekend’s six-pointer with Hull City at the Stadium of Light.
Bradshaw is another Welshman handed his international debut by Coleman. The twice-capped striker made his bow for Wales in 2015 and has a decent enough record in the Football League.
Bradshaw has been heavily linked with a move to Reading this month and is said to have attracted the attention of QPR and Bolton. He played eighty minutes up front in the Barnsley side that beat Sunderland on New Year’s Day.
The 5”8 striker cost the South Yorkshire club a reported £700,000 eighteen months ago, which sets the bar at his value and even at the price he could be out of Chris Coleman’s budget for this month.
But, is he any good and in Sunderland’s frantic search for firepower, and could Bradshaw offer goals to Chris Coleman’s sterile side? We collared Joe Luke Beardsall, Barnsley fan, journalist and host of Dearne FM’s Red All Over, a radio show dedicated covering the Tykes to get the lowdown.
I would say Tom Bradshaw’s main attribute is his work rate. He’s not a prolific 25-goal a season man at Championship level or at least not in Barnsley’s current team, but more of a good second striker to compliment a big man up top.
He works extremely hard and puts defences under huge pressure and he certainly has a great instinctive shot on him.
He does however sometimes lack that rush-less edge in front of goal which for me is what he needs to improve on but overall his work rate, desire to battle for every header and link up play makes up for what he lacks in consistent goals.
Bradshaw is about as good as we’re likely to get in this window on a budget. The Barnsley man is known to Chris Coleman and has received praise down in South Yorkshire for his attitude and work ethic.
Still improving, he might not arrive with sufficient edge to fire Sunderland to safety but Chris Coleman needs two strikers as a minimum in this window and a more experienced head brought in could really bring him on.